Las Vegas Sands is reportedly looking to sell its casinos in its namesake city as the US gambling market struggles to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
The massive casino developer — helmed by octogenarian billionaire Sheldon Adelson — has tapped an adviser to help it explore the sale of the Venetian Resort, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo Center, according to Bloomberg News.
The Las Vegas Strip properties could go for at least $6 billion even though they account for just a small fraction of Sands’ revenue, the news service reported Monday. Dumping them would leave Sands with a half-dozen sites in Macau and Singapore, two much larger Asian markets.
Spokespeople for Sands did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. But company spokesman Ron Reese told The Wall Street Journal that the sale discussions are only in their early stages and that no final decision has been made.
The news nevertheless sent Sands’ stock price up as much as 2.6 percent to $50.44 in early trading Tuesday. The shares pared the gains to trade up about 0.2 percent at $49.24 as of 10:46 a.m.
Sands has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic in both Vegas and Asia, where casino gambling was temporarily shut down earlier this year to prevent the deadly virus from spreading. The company said its net revenues plunged about 82 percent to $586 million from July through September tourist traffic remained well below pre-pandemic levels.
The Vegas properties accounted for roughly a quarter of Sands’ net revenue in the third quarter but about just 13 percent of the more than $13.7 billion the company raked in last year, according to its financial filings. The lion’s share of that net revenue — about $8.8 billion — came from Macau, the massive gaming hub on China’s southern coast.
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